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How to Open a Flower Shop in Hong Kong

How to Open a Flower Shop in Hong Kong

posted: 2019-09-09 17:30:00 +0800

So you want to open a flower shop in Hong Kong? Great! If you’ve got a love for flowers, a flair for creativity, and a passion for people, being a florist is a phenomenal industry to get involved in, especially here in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is rich with Chinese traditions and gift giving and flowers play a major part in that. If you’re not sure where to start, Give Gift Boutique Hong Kong Florist has put together some suggestions and things to consider before you get started.

Floral Design Education

Like in any industry, expertise is important so it’s good to start by getting certified as a florist first. There are plenty of online courses that you can take but hands on experience is important. The Hong Kong Flower Academy offers training and certification to become a florist. After you’re certified, your education doesn’t stop there. Get some on the job training somewhere to be sure that being a florist is a good fit for you and to get some insights into the industry itself.

Open a Flower Shop

Have a Business Motive and Plan about Running a Flower Shop

Right, now that you’ve decided to commit to opening a flower shop it’s time to come up with a business motive and plan.

• Name your business. Define your brand. This step is self-explanatory but essential as it’s going to define your business and who you are to your customers. Think about what sort of vibe you want your business to have and how you’ll stand out against your competitors. Be personal and be passionate as the more of yourself you put into your brand the more it will speak to your customers.

• Online flower shop, physical flower shop, or both? Hong Kong has an interesting market in which there are many people who still prefer to buy their flowers from local flower markets and physical flower shops while there is also a big need for an online flower shopping experience as well. Rent, however, is very high in Hong Kong so this something that needs to be taken in consideration when making this decision.

• Who are your customers? Who are your competitors? If you’re aiming for an expat market an online flower shop is likely your best bet and you’ll have to consider your flower arrangements and tastes based on that market. If you want to reach a more local customers, you’ll need to consider not only some of the local traditions and holidays for your flower arrangements but you’ll also need to find an edge to be more attractive than the popular flower markets that exist in Hong Kong. If you decide on a physical flower shop, consider the neighbourhood that you’re in, who is living there (families, elderly, local, expat, mix etc.) and what competitors are nearby both physically and online. Do you want corporate flower clients? If so, think about what types of business industries you want to enter and think about what sort of stock you’ll carry to meet the needs of these clients (grand opening stands, flower subscription services etc)

• Will you carry other items other than flowers? – What about gift hampers? Trinkets? Sweets? Having additional saleable items to go with your flowers can go a long way in reaching new customers. Consider joining up with other local businesses to sell additional gift items that go well with flowers. Not only are you helping out a fellow entrepreneur but you’ll be adding a unique touch to your business that competitors might not have.

• Where will you get your flowers? Consider your options carefully as this decision is going to be the bread and butter of your whole business. Do you want to engage in a contract with wholesaler? These can be long term agreements so make sure you’re comfortable with all aspects of a contract before signing. Or perhaps try making an agreement with local flower market. You can also look into purchasing directly from farms in around Hong Kong or if you’re really ambitious and have the space, you can grow your own.

Open a Florist

Finances and Cost

Let’s talk money. You’re going to have to set up a company first, like a sole proprietorship, before opening up a business account. If you’re looking for some small business loans or credit cards you’ll need to have a clear business motive too. You’ll also need the appropriate business licence from the Hong Kong government to run your flower shop.

In terms of everyday costs, here are some purchases to consider:

  • Rental cost of a physical shop and any renovations needed.
  • Website creation, e-commerce shop, and marketing.
  • A Floral POS. Having a point of sale system specific to your business can make your life a lot easier.
  • Cost of contracts with suppliers.
  • Cost for accounting.
  • Purchase of initial flowers and floral supplies.
  • Flower delivery setup and any contracts with delivery companies.
  • Temperature controlled room for the storage of your flowers and products.

Another important factor to consider is what forms of payment you’ll be accepting. Customers love convenience but having different forms of payment whether credit card, EPS, Union Pay, Alipay, Octopus etc. can be expensive in terms of fees and agreements with the vendors. Consider your location and your customers again and decide what will be the best choice and the most profitable for you in the end.

One of the biggest questions you’ll also need to answer for yourself once you’ve broken down all the initial costs, is how long it will take for you to break even.

Marketing

Marketing may not sound like much fun but it’s essential for your new flower shop business. People need to hear about you in order to make purchases so you have to find a way to drive sales to your business.

  • Reach out to media outlets to get people talking about your business.
  • Create a solid social media base. Facebook and Instagram are a must.
  • Offer a unique giveaway or contest.
  • Make sure your website is SEO driven so that you can rank high on internet searches.
  • Hand out flyers in an around your neighbourhood, perhaps offering a discount code for new customers.
  • Hire a marketing agency. Marketing can be a lot of work and it’s never ending so get some help from experts if you have the finances for it.

Other Things to Consider

  • Be prepared to work holidays and to be busy during these times. Order extra and have extra help on hand if need be.
  • You’ll need to figure out your spoilage rate for your flowers and how you’re going to manage your stock. Education, experience, and talking with other florists will help you balance this.
  • Based on the size of your shop, decide when or if you’ll hire staff taking into the consideration your work load and finances.

Questions? Give Gift Boutique Hong Kong Flower Shop has plenty of experienced florists that love to talk about flowers. Contact us!

This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'How to Open a Flower Shop in Hong Kong ' blogpost.
Blog Tags :     # GGB       # flowershop       # floral arrangement       # Hong Kong Flower Shop  
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blog written by: # Danielle Roberts (41)
Danielle Roberts, Editor

Danielle is a Canadian freelance writer and ESL teacher who has called Hong Kong home since 2016.     > more...


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